If you’ve enjoyed Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series, then you’ll love Hard Magic, the first of his series set in an alternative 1930s America, where for just over seventy years (since the 1860s) magic has begun to manifest in random people around the world. Some become stronger, others can walk through walls, and still others can heal, curse, see the future, teleport, control the weather, raise demons, or create zombies.
That’s right. You didn’t think that Correia would write a book and not include zombies and other ghoulish monsters, did you? And, true to form, Correia gives his heroes plenty of armaments because a fair fight is only fair when the good guys are armed to the teeth.
So we’ve got monsters, magic, guns, and alternate history…did I mention that there are aliens, too?
If it sounds like Correia is blending too many genres, trust me: it works, and it’s every bit as enjoyable as the rest of Correia’s novels. Not only does Correia make it fun, weaving a creative new universe where almost anything goes, he brings his usual care to create characters that are both sympathetic and conflicted, diverse and credible. There’s something for everyone, from the tough guy who is soft inside to the fem fatal with a heart of gold, from the wizened and ancient mentor to the young, naive, and innocent prodigy on a mission of vengeance. There are pirates, gangsters, war heroes and villains, and Correia tells it with an almost effortless style.
Truth be told, Hard Magic kept me up burning the mid-night oil several days in row, and it was worth the lost sleep.
I ran into Correia on the floor of the Salt Lake Comic Con last week. Introduced by a mutual friend of ours, I was lucky enough to get a picture with him, but to look at the picture, you’d think he was the one who thought he was lucky. He’s wearing this smile that says “I can’t believe they pay me to do this.” It’s the smile of a man having the time of his life.
And, if you talk with him long enough, he’ll take the opportunity to note that he would have the number one audio book in the country right now, but for J.K. Rowling. Her revelation that Robert Galbraith was her pen name behind the critically acclaimed Cuckoo Calling catapulted her just over Correia (“Let’s start a rumor that ‘Larry Correia’ is a pen name for J.K. Rowling,” he said at one panel during the Salt Lake Comic Con). He says it with mock bitterness, and though other, less successful panelists occasionally rolled their eyes at him, he clearly enjoys the success that he’s enjoyed, and perhaps, as his smile seems to betray, he really can’t believe that he gets to write novels featuring his monsters, magic, and munitions.
Get to know Larry better at his blog, daily updated and always interesting, at http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/.
Parent’s guide: (I don’t always include this, but since there’s a good possibility a non-adult might pick this one up…)
- Sex: there is reference to it, but it never happens, at least not on screen. This is firmly in the PG-PG-13 range.
- Language: English. No, just kidding. There is some swearing, but infrequently.
- Violence: Lots. Demons, zombies, and people are shot, sliced, chopped, and in various ways killed, often cruelly. However, Correia avoids any graphic or gratuitous descriptions.
Sound interesting? Do the author a favor and order a copy from Amazon. It puts bread on their table and helps them keep writing.
- “Warbound” by Larry Correia (Reviewed by Casey Blair) (fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com)
- Twenty Questions With Larry Correia (deescribbler.typepad.com)
- Larry Correia on Guns (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
- Ask Correia 15: Pacing (tariencole.wordpress.com)